As fans of The Big Bang Theory will already know, Kaley Cuoco and Melissa Rauch portrayed close friends for years. Since they both helped make The Big Bang Theory a massive success, that allowed them to become rich side by side.
In the years since The Big Bang Theory aired, there has been a lot of interest in whether the show's cast really were friends. With that in mind, it is surprising that barely any fans of the show know about the time Rauch shoved Cuoco into a pole on the show's set.
By the time The Big Bang Theory ended, fans had spent years watching Penny and Bernadette's friendship grow and mature. Since fans were invested in the relationship their characters shared, many of them hoped the two actors were pals in real life.
Of course, the only people who know the true nature of Rauch and Cuoco's relationship is the two of them. That said, based on what is publicly known about the pair, there is every reason to believe that Rauch and Cuoco legitimately became friends.
The first indication the two actors really care about each other may just be the most compelling. Cuoco and four of her former The Big Bang Theory co-stars put their money where their mouths were.
Prior to the filming of The Big Bang Theory's eleventh season, Rauch and Mayim Bialik got a huge raise from $200,000 per episode to $450,000 per episode. The reason that was possible is Cuoco and four of her co-stars took a $100,000 per episode pay cut.
After Cuoco took that pay cut, two more seasons of 24 The Big Bang Theory episodes were produced. If you do the math, that means Cuoco gave up $2.4 million over the show's last two seasons so that money could go to Rauch.
Money aside, Cuoco and Rauch have proven that they have a bond in other ways. When Cuoco gave birth in 2023, eagle-eyed fans noticed that Rauch commented "Soooo beautiful!!!" on a photo of the baby that was on Instagram. While that isn't a grand gesture, the little things people do to show they care can often be just as powerful.
Years before that in 2016, Rauch starred in a sports comedy movie titled The Bronze. When a movie premiere was held to celebrate that film, Cuoco showed up to support her friend and co-star.
During the first season of The Big Bang Theory, the show focused on five characters. By the time the sitcom ended, however, the show featured an ensemble cast that had grown as Amy, Bernadette, and Stuart joined the fun.
Once more characters became a key part of The Big Bang Theory, it was notable that some of them interacted less often than others. That fact led to one of the best-regarded episodes in the show's history.
During the seventh season of The Big Bang Theory, the third episode was titled "The Scavenger Vortex". Focused on a scavenger hunt set up by Raj, the episode showed three groups of two trying to solve the puzzles.
One of the teams involved was comprised of Penny and Sheldon, a duo that fans of the show couldn't get enough of. The other two pairings teamed up characters who rarely interacted one-on-one, Howard and Amy as well as Leonard and Bernadette.
By the end of the episode, viewers got to see some characters in a new light. While it wasn't shocking that Bernadette proved to be competitive in the episode, many fans didn't expect her to go as far as she did.
At one point in the episode, Bernadette punched Leonard. While talking about filming that moment, series star Johnny Galecki laughed about having difficult it was to get his co-star Melissa Rauch to punch him believably.
"She had to punch me. It looked so lame and fragile. And I kept saying, 'Hit me!'"
While it sounds like Galecki had difficulty filming that scene with Rauch, he didn't get hurt. On the other hand, Kaley Cuoco got injured during the filming of that episode after dealing with similar problems with Rauch.
As The Big Bang Theory fans might remember, Bernadette's competitiveness in the episode reaches its apex near the end. As all the characters rush to solve one of the puzzles, Penny gets close. Not willing to lose, Bernadette pushed Penny out of the way.
For the comedy of that moment to work, viewers have to feel like Bernadette really is shoving Penny out of the way. Similar to when Rauch was supposed to punch Galecki on camera, filming this scene didn't go well.
Obviously worried about hurting her co-star and friend, Rauch kept holding back every time she was supposed to push Cuoco. That led to Cuoco insisting to Rauch that she needed to really go for it.
"At the very end, when we all run back into the apartment to look under Sheldon's spot, Melissa is supposed to push me out of the way, and I was like, 'Push me! Push me!'"
Evidently, Rauch listened to Cuoco in the end as she finally pushed her co-star with some real force. Unfortunately for Cuoco, it seems like Rauch took her advice a little too seriously. After Rauch committed to the scene, she accidentally shoved Cuoco into a pole.
"And she just shoved me in one of the takes and I ran into the pole in the living room set." If someone gets pushed into a pole, there definitely is a strong chance they will be injured. In this case, however, Cuoco's description of the aftermath made it clear she was fine.
"And we're both trying not to laugh. (But) we're facing away from the camera and I'm literally crying, I'm laughing so hard. And she's crying, too. We were laughing so hard."